According to New Frontier Data, the global authority in the cannabis industry, “Between 2020-2025, the total combined U.S. market opportunity for legal cannabis sales is estimated at $172 billion.” As social acceptance of legalizing marijuana continues to grow, the trajectory of legalizing this controversial drug nationwide may become a reality sooner, rather than later. Currently, marijuana is still illegal under federal law and in many states. However, there are fifteen states where recreational marijuana is legal and 36 states that allow medical marijuana. For more information about your state’s marijuana laws, click here.
While many see the future of cannabis to be very profitable, the cannabis industry is highly regulated, thus making it difficult for entrepreneurs and companies to navigate the industry. This is where hiring technical writers comes into play. For those interested in starting or investing in the marijuana business, tech writers are the perfect solution to navigating the complex rules and regulation you will face.
Let us look at how you may need a technical writer for your cannabis business.
Before you become a cultivator, start your own dispensary, or work as a manufacturer of marijuana, you need the right documentation. In this emerging industry, documents play an important role and will determine whether your cannabis business succeeds or fails. Therefore, a technical writer, whose job is to break down complex processes into easily digestible information, is uniquely equipped to handle the intricacies of this industry. So, whether your interest is in production, distribution, retail sales, or consulting, technical writers can help you produce the documentation to start and manage your cannabis business effectively.
Below are the key documents that are necessary to operate a legal cannabis business:
Policy & Regulatory Framework
Although several states have legalized either recreational or medicinal marijuana, it is still illegal on a federal level. Therefore, the laws and regulations regarding how you grow, distribute, and use cannabis are subject to change at any given moment. This may include anything from packaging regulations, to lab testing, to water use, etc. The constant change in legislation is one of many challenges business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors will face in this rapidly growing industry. It is imperative to stay on top of the latest rules and guidelines to ensure your operations are always legally compliant.
By hiring a regulatory compliance technical writer familiar with the cannabis industry, your business documents are sure to adhere to the current laws and regulations regarding your operations. Furthermore, technical writers can generate contingency plans to help reduce regulatory risks. They will often use compliance management software to help manage the creation, versioning, and expiration of current policies, procedures, and other business-related documents.
There are several types of lucrative businesses within the cannabis industry, from plant-touching businesses that deal with handling marijuana directly to ancillary cannabis businesses that involve a variety of distributors, manufacturers, and professional services. Regardless of the type of your business, you will need a business license. The licensing and application process involves providing every detail about your business such as business plan, location, finances, security plan, staffing, and much more. Depending on where you live when you apply, the application requirements for licenses, registrations, and permits can vary. You should keep in mind this process is very time-consuming and application fees can be costly, so it is essential to get it right the first time.
A technical writer can help your business stand out by producing a clear and thorough business plan; showcasing everything from how your company plans to achieve its goals to how it will handle a crisis. Tech writers also often use automation tools to quickly generate and process documents, especially when working on applications that are hundreds or thousands of pages long. This will ensure you present concise, yet comprehensive, documentation when applying for your license. With the assistance of a technical writer’s knowledge and skill set, your chances of getting a business license approved increased greatly.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Standard operating procedures are a series of steps or instructions to help employees carry out daily operations. These often include payment processing, record management, security, and more. In the cannabis industry, particularly with breeders and cultivators, SOPs need to clearly state what tasks are being performed and by whom to ensure the continual growth of the marijuana plant.
Tech writers can help companies accurately develop, produce, and manage high-quality cannabis documentation. They are trained to organize information in a clear and useful manner; therefore, technical writers can produce simple, easy-to-read standard operating procedures for your company. For example, during your licensing application process, you may have to provide procedures for specific operations, such as how to develop a new strain of cannabis so you ensure growth of high-quality plants that will maintain your profits. Tech writers know how to articulate your business plans to all audiences, and can take your documentation to the next level.
Human Resource Documents
Human resource documents are policies and procedures that inform personnel about their job responsibilities, expectations, workplace standards & guidelines, and appropriate behaviors. These documents may include job descriptions, safety protocols, background checks, company policies, anti-harassment policies, and more. Technical writers are often experts in a variety of documentation types, including business writing. They can produce clear, concise, and consistent human resource documents, helping you train employees and giving them the tools to understand the strict rules associated with the marijuana industry, thus reducing compliance risk.
Operations Manual refers to the day-to-day processes and procedures of your organization. These technical documents will inform employees, auditors, inspectors, regulators, and other authorities about every single detail on how you track your inventory, handle financial transactions, provide security for internal and external audiences, and comply with state regulations.
Having to develop and manage these various types of technical documentation can be very daunting, especially when trying to stay within legal parameters. Technical writers will help your business implement the best practices in document management systems to help keep track of inventory, laws, policies, and procedures. This will make it easier to retrieve, revise, and maintain accurate and up-to-date documents, saving your business significant amounts of time and money.
As social acceptance of marijuana increases, business owners may find taking a chance on the cannabis industry to be an irresistible opportunity. Although compliance laws and regulations can be major obstacles during this process, with the help of technical writers, well-written documentation, and good document management systems, these factors may be the golden key to your success in this rapidly growing industry.
How can EDC help?
EDC has professionally trained technical writers well-versed in developing business plans optimal for attracting investors. They are also aware of the latest compliance laws, which helps reduce any legal risk as the cannabis industry continues to grow. Technical writers at EDC are subject matter experts on the different types of businesses in the marijuana industry, so whether you are interested in being a cultivator, manufacturer, owning a dispensary, or providing professional services, EDC has tech writers ready to help you out. They have the skills to create high-quality documentation that communicates complex information in plain language for a wide range of audiences. Documentation may include training materials for employees in dispensaries, cultivation, and processing facilities. Security Plans, Inventory Control Plans, Packaging & Labeling Plans, and more; Essential Data can do it all!
Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Kimberly Jones